Beginning a new drive on Covid-19 management, the Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday set out 8,000 teams of healthcare workers for door -to- door visits to collect real-time data on the health profile of the entire population in the state.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched the month-long drive— “Him Suraksha Abhiyan” — which will end on December 25, the day when his government will complete three years in power.
“About 8,000 teams comprising personnel from the health, ayurveda, women and child development, panchayati raj departments, district administration and NGOs will be involved in the campaign for a door-to-door data collection of health parameters of the people,” he announced at a function here.
The teams will also sensitise the people regarding Covid-19 pandemic and to collect real-time information regarding symptoms of diseases like TB, leprosy, sugar, blood pressure and so on.
Himachal Pradesh has seen a worst-ever spike in the coronavirus cases, a high mortality rate and fastest spread of infection during the past three weeks. The positivity rate in the state has also surpassed Delhi and many other hotspot states.
The state government has already taken a decision to impose night curfew in four districts of Shimla, Mandi, Kullu and Kangra apart from ordering the closure of the schools and colleges till December 31.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur blamed the spike on the people for not following social-distancing norms during large gatherings, wedding functions and market places. Persons not wearing face masks will now be fined Rs 1,000.
Under the drive, the healthcare workers will track mountains, even the snow-covered valleys and areas not connected by the roads to reach out to the entire population of the state.
“We have given them mobile phone applications to feed data on the health profiles of the family members,village wise and panchayat-wise on real-time basis which will be monitored, tabulated, stored and analysed at the state level,” said Dr Nipun Jindal, mission director, National Health Mission (NHM).
Under this, not only symptomatic patients with probable Covid-19 would be detected but patients with other ailments would also be listed.
Asked if the teams will also test patients, Dr Jindal said, “Not for Covid-19 but the suspected cases will be tested at one place, where the health department can hold special camps for this purpose calling all the patients at one point as follow-up.
The chief minister also made an appeal to the people, “If anyone has any symptoms of Covid-19 like cold, cough, fever, loss of taste or smell, difficulty in breathing, they must share their information with the health worker coming to their home and get their checkup done as per the requirement.”
Similarly, if someone is suffering from diseases like sugar, blood pressure, asthma, cancer and so on, the health department will provide proper treatment and also undertake proper monitoring.
The number of cases in Himachal Pradesh has already crossed the 35,000 -mark with 561 deaths. Every day, 15 to 20 people are losing their battle against the Covid in the state triggering massive panic.
People infected with the virus are scared to go to hospitals fearing that they will die unattended. Those in the Covid wards are coming out with horror stories, that of witnessing the deaths of fellow patients.
Shortage of oxygen has also hit major hospitals in the capital town of Shimla and Dharamshala, another important city in the state.
Most patients are preferring private hospitals in Chandigarh, instead of getting admitted to government hospitals.
The chief minister, however, dispelled such fears about the condition of hospitals and patients not getting care. “The conditions have improved for the better and Covid patients are getting cured. Although the number of Covid-19 patients and related deaths has witnessed a sharp spike, the situation is under control. There is no dearth of essential medicines and equipment like oxygen cylinders and isolation beds,” he said.
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